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📦 How to equip global developer hires

The rise of remote work has enabled employers to hire software developers anywhere in the world - but how do you ensure they are set up with everything they need on their start date?

In this guide, we’ll deep-dive into the key steps of the equipment lifecycle, and how you can plan around any potential delays in procuring equipment to ensure your developers can hit the ground running during onboarding.

This guide was created with input from our account managers and experts at equipment management platforms Workwize and Hofy on what the equipment process involves, and how to plan ahead in this process.

Delivering equipment on time matters for a great onboarding experience

A good onboarding experience greatly affects how long your team members will stay with you and how engaged they are.

Despite the slowdown of the tech hiring market from its record highs in 2021, hiring top developers remains challenging. In a competitive environment, it’s just as important to retain those developers you’ve made a great effort to hire.

“Providing equipment in time for a new joiner’s start date comes down to credibility, trust, and professionalism,” says Kieran Varkevisser, OfferZen Account Manager. “If you’re unable to do that, it leaves doubt in a lot of developers’ minds whether the environment is as good as they were promised. You lose productivity, but also trust, and the new joiner’s drive and excitement from starting a new job.”

How to create an efficient equipment lifecycle

Have a company equipment policy: You need to have a company policy about the remote equipment you’ll provide to new joiners. This should include the price range, specs and calibre of equipment. This will create consistency within your offering and adds to the candidate experience when onboarding new team members.

Establish a procurement and delivery policy: Once you’ve decided what your equipment offering looks like, it’s time to procure and deliver it to your new remote joiner.

Some of the most important factors to consider for global procurement and delivery are:

  • Your payment infrastructure, and whether it works in the different countries where you’re procuring equipment. You might need to set up an alternative payment method, such as PayPal, if your company card doesn’t work for certain regions.
  • Delivery times and delays: The time it takes to deliver equipment can vary widely between countries. Supply chain disruptions can further increase potential delays.

Determine how you’ll maintain equipment: You should have an action plan for equipment maintenance and support throughout an employee’s time at the company; including when a device breaks and providing ongoing IT support.

Plan for employee offboarding: Once a team member leaves, it’s time to offboard your equipment. This is especially important to save costs. You could re-use the equipment for another new joiner or sell it.

This means taking into account the collection of equipment and how long it’ll take to ship to a new location, having dedicated office space, and having a dedicated role or service in place for logistics and courier arrangements.

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Read more about these steps to the equipment lifecycle: How Better Equipment Management Can Help Attract and Retain Remote Developers

Principles for procuring equipment on time

Planning around the supply chain crisis

It’s important to take the supply chain crisis into account when it comes to delivering equipment, especially if your company is active in multiple regions.

This is an ongoing global issue in which the demand for semiconductor chips far exceeds the supply, affecting 169 industries, including the technology and hardware sectors.

“Although the severity of the problems has eased up since the outbreak of Covid-19, it’s expected that the market will be constrained well into 2023,” says Paul, Operations Manager at Workwize. During that time, companies can expect delays from anywhere between four weeks to six months.

That means companies need to plan around these supply chain delays to ensure they have everything they need in time for a new joiner’s start date.

Here are some key steps you can use to plan ahead.

Diversify suppliers: You should have at least two suppliers for your equipment needs in the regions you’re servicing, although more options are always better.

If one supplier is experiencing significant delays with some stock, this means you’ll have a backup option ready. Have regular conversations with your suppliers to keep up with trends and pre-empt any supply issues.

Headshot of Paul Boelens

"It's important to diversify your supplier base so you can move fast. It's really risky if you just put all your eggs in one basket."

Head of Operations, Workwize - Paul Boelens

Build up buffer stock to minimise delays: With hardware wait times taking anywhere between three to six months — particularly with newly released models — one of the most effective ways to pre-empt delivery issues is to source buffer stock for future new joiners.

You should have enough stock for at least three months’ worth of planned hires, and dedicated storage space for it. Having a hiring roadmap is essential to calculate the correct amount of equipment for your planned hires.

Invest in asset tracking: When you’re working with a buffer stock of equipment, it’s crucial to keep track of your current equipment, what you’ll need in future, and be aligned on these matters within the company.

Use an inventory management system to help you keep track of your assets, as well as budget spending. These systems are available through services such as Workwize, and also include independent tools such as Excel, your own HRM system and online forms.

Re-use devices where possible: Re-using your stock holds multiple benefits: you’re less impacted by any shortages or delays since you’re not constantly sourcing new equipment. Furthermore, it saves you money and is more environmentally friendly.

In general, most large tech companies have a policy of switching a piece of hardware for up to 3-4 years between employees. Investing in higher-quality hardware and equipment will help with device longevity.

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